Aviation Litigation

Businesses in the aviation sector need lawyers with the knowledge and experience to find creative solutions that defy convention. Cozen O’Connor’s aviation litigators are consistently successful in handling complex cases involving catastrophic losses and significant exposures by devising innovative approaches.

Cozen O’Connor represents aviation and aerospace insurers and reinsurers, aviation products and component part manufacturers, carriers, airports, repair facilities, and manufacturers and operators of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) in all manner of dispute and investigation. The firm handles wrongful death and survival actions, personal injury claims, antitrust and consumer protection claims, product liability and recalls, property damage claims, liability claims, coverage issues, air accidents, and other claims under the Montreal and Warsaw conventions.

The firm also assists aviation clients in state and federal government investigations. Firm attorneys regularly represent subjects and third parties in federal investigations of all types, including mergers, civil antitrust, consumer protection, and criminal. The firm has a dedicated State Attorneys General practice that defends clients against state consumer protection, deceptive trade, and advertising claims.

When facing high-stakes litigation, businesses need experienced trial lawyers who know how to get results in the courtroom and aggressively negotiate favorable settlements. We have successfully tried aviation cases valued at hundreds of millions of dollars to verdict and served as national coordinating counsel for multinational companies. The firm’s well-deserved reputation as a trial powerhouse provides leverage in negotiations and meditations; adversaries know we settle to serve our client’s interests, not to avoid court.

The firm’s reach is global. With offices in 30 cities across North America and in Europe, and extensive experience working in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, Cozen O’Connor is ready to respond wherever and whenever the need arises. Cozen O’Connor’s Rapid Response Team can be on site within 24 hours to advise on investigations, emergency response protocols, family support services, cleanup, and public relations. Moving forward, our attorneys can handle all ongoing investigations, inquiries, or resulting litigations.

In managing major aviation litigation, Cozen O’Connor carefully tailors its defense strategy to each client and each situation. Rather than providing cookie-cutter answers and stock briefs, Cozen O’Connor adds value by being creative, adaptive, and persuasive. Cozen O’Connor also adds value by staffing with proportionality and employing seasoned attorneys who provide cost-effective service.


CBP Proposes Changes to APIS System to Strengthen Aviation Security [Alert]

February 21, 2023

CBP looks to strengthen security by enhancing information that commercial aircraft operators must electronically transmit to CBP through its APIS.

House Passes Bill to Create NOTAM Task Force After Significant System Failure [Alert]

January 27, 2023

The task force will study how to improve the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions system after its failure caused a nationwide ground stop earlier this month.

FAA Declines to Extend COVID-19 Relief at U.S. Slot-Controlled and IATA Level 2 U.S. Airports [Alert]

November 02, 2022

The FAA will not extend its COVID-19 related relief policy for U.S. slot-controlled & FAA-designated International Air Transport Association Level 2 airports.

FAA Issues Final Rule Increasing Mandatory Flight Attendant Rest Periods [Alert]

October 14, 2022

The FAA's rule requires that flight attendants receive a rest period of at least 10 consecutive hours between periods of duty lasting 14 hours or less.

FAA Modifies International Aviation Safety Assessment Program [Alert]

October 03, 2022

The FAA announced several key changes to its International Aviation Safety Assessment program.

DOT Issues Airline Ancillary Fee Proposal [Alert]

September 28, 2022

The U.S. DOT will consider a proposed rule to ensure that consumers have certain ancillary fee information at the time of ticket purchase.

Barriers to Entry: FAA Proposes Flight deck Physical Secondary Barriers [Alert]

August 15, 2022

The FAA proposes rule to require new aircraft be outfitted with installed physical secondary barriers to further protect the flight deck from intrusion.

DOT Issues Proposed Rule on Airline Ticket Refunds [Alert]

August 08, 2022

The Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, titled Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections.

DOT Issues Bill of Rights for Airline Passengers with Disabilities; New Airline Family Seating Notice [Alert]

July 12, 2022

The U.S. DOT has published a Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights which describes the fundamental rights of air travelers with disabilities.

Airlines Applaud Lifting of COVID Testing Requirement for U.S. Arrivals [Alert]

June 23, 2022

The CDC rescinded the COVID-19 testing requirement for U.S. arriving passengers on June 15. Airlines for America welcomed the CDC's decision.

DHS Again Postpones REAL ID Deadline [Alert]

April 29, 2021

Rachel Welford discusses DHS's extension of the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.

The Efficacy of Preemption Defenses in Airline COVID-19 Litigation [Alert]

July 27, 2020

William H. Walsh and Anusha E. Jones discuss potential preemption defenses that could be available to airlines and their potential effectiveness.

DOT/HHS/DHS Issue Joint COVID-19 Guidance to Airlines and Airports

July 06, 2020

On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services issued a joint guidance document titled “Runway to Recovery- the United States Framework for Airlines and Airports to Mitigate the Public Health Risks of Coronavirus.”

DOT Issues New Guidance Regarding Airlines’ Obligation to Provide Passenger Refunds [Alert]

May 13, 2020

Rachel Welford discusses DOT's guidance for airline carriers operating flights to, from, and within in the United States on when it is necessary to offer ticketed passengers refunds.

Rolls-Royce Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Block Discovery in Aid of International Arbitration [Alert]

April 28, 2020

David Loh and Chris Raleigh discuss the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court permitting U.S. discovery in international private arbitration and what that means for foreign companies doing business in the United States.

DOT to Impose Minimum Air Service Obligations For U.S. Carriers Receiving CARES Act Financial Assistance [Alert]

March 31, 2020

David Heffernan and Rachel Welford discuss DOT's proposed parameters for implementing the authority granted it by the CARES Act to maintain scheduled air transportation to U.S. points.

Reflections on Boeing’s Exposure Following the 737 MAX Crashes [Alert]

April 17, 2019

Chris Kende, Bruce Maffeo and Dina Moussa, discuss the civil and criminal liability Boeing could face following the two crashes and subsequent grounding of the brand new Boeing 737 MAX.

California Federal Court Declares Drones are Aircraft [Alert]

January 18, 2019

William Walsh discusses the decision in Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. Hollycal Production, Inc and what it could mean for the future of drone law.

The Safety and Comfort of Your Airline Seat [Forbes]

January 07, 2019

David Heffernan, a member of the firm's Transportation & Trade Group and co-chair of the Aviation Industry Team, authored "The Safety and Comfort of Your Airline Seat" for Forbes.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

CBP Roundtable

January 25, 2023 - Nashville, TN

2016 London Market USA Study Tour

July 10, 2016 - Chicago, IL

2016 RIMS Annual Conference

April 10, 2016 - San Diego, CA

In The News

US Regulator Grants Exemption for Drone Flight During Lockdown [Financial Times]

April 22, 2020

Bill Walsh was quoted in an article in the Financial Times titled, "US Regulator Grants Exemption for Drone Flight During Lockdown." This article discusses a new coronavirus-related waiver for drone flight which allows an oil and gas company in Houston, TX to use unmanned aircraft instead of humans to inspect its facilities while the staff remains in lockdown.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.


William H. Walsh



(206) 224-1296



57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.

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